Still here, and waiting.....
That's what it feels like I have been doing since August 2 when we heard the news of Adah's leukemia. Winter settled over my soul that day. Not the sort of depressing-can't get out of bed winter, but a sort of be quiet, stay inside, conserve energy and wait, kind of winter. Adah's parents have been our best friends and co-workers for the past 8 years, and now they aren't here. They're back in another home, waiting this morning for their youngest daughter Claire's bone marrow to be extracted and given to her big sister Adah. It will drip through an iv line, and then we all will wait.
It felt right that I would pack today. You feel helpless when you know someone's hurting and you can't really do anything about it because they are so far away. With the list in hand, I walked into their apartment prepared to do just that. Pack up the few items Sara had requested. Walking in wasn't so easy though, and tears overwhelmed me as I looked around the home that was once theirs. I packed up little trinkets, things I knew that Sara would never ask for, that Adah would want. Broken beads, notepads, special momentoes that decorate her room, and have been part of so many memories. It wans't supposed to be like that. We had dreamed together, laying out the days and years ahead of us. We have created traditions together over the years, planned things we would do nexr year, even secretly plotting at times a marriage between our two families. We had sympathized with friends who never were able to come back and pack up their homes due to an unforeseen circumstance, and whispered to ourselves that we hoped that that would never be us. But it's here, the time is now, and there is so much that isn't up to us.
So, it's in the waiting I choose to stay. The doctors will monitor Adah for 14 days to make sure her body will receive the new bone marrow. They will count, Day 1, Day 2, Day 3..
Advent. A season of waiting. A season where we remember Christ's first coming..... and yet often that's where we stop. There's presents to buy, decorations to put up, Christmas cookies to bake, cards to write..... But when the soul enters winter, somehow those things don't seem so important anymore. Christ came, and He is coming again. My soul aches for that even more than ever.
I walked home from packing tonight, through the dimly lit streets of this complex of 6,000 people. Tears streaming down my face as I reflected on the many memories we've shared in this place. Twelve years living somewhere and you're certain to make a lot of those. Jesus, you see, don't you? You're here, aren't you? Tears blurred my vision as I made my way home. I am here, my daughter. I see. Don't worry. I will return and make all things right. His comfort was deep and presence is real. In our waiting, He waits with us. Emmanuel, God with us. The time isn't yet, but it will be soon.
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.